Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the launch of Instagram Stories, a feature that allows users to string together a series of photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. At first glance it’s tough to see this as anything other than a Snapchat clone. However, if you can get past this (which I believe you can), you’ll realize that there are broader marketing implications that can benefit your brand. Before you dig in and start experimenting on your own channel or with the help of Influencers, check out our handy infographic that breaks down the Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram Stories.
Erica Price, the mom behind the Nine to Three Thirty blog, has her hands full these days. In between managing her site and booming Instagram page (@ericaprice6), she’s taking care of her nine-year-old son and writing for A Little Luxury for Me, a U.K. foodie blog. We had an opportunity to chat with Price about how she stays engaged with her Instagram followers.
Fullbottle: How has your Instagram strategy changed as the social network has evolved?
Erica Price: “I think when the network was first launched, there was more emphasis on the 'instant' and my pictures at the time reflected that. These days, only a small percentage of my pictures are instant and most aren't taken on my phone. I don't do a lot of editing, but I do like to find the best shots from those I've taken on my DSLR and then transfer them to my phone for uploading.”
FB: What are your views on influencer fraud?
EP: “I can't see the point in paying for followers because in most cases it just looks really obvious. I have seen so many accounts with thousands of followers, but only a handful of likes per photo and almost no comments at all. Any marketer worth their wages will spot that a mile off.”
FB: How do you keep your followers interested?
EP: “Keeping my followers interested means frequent posting. I aim to post three times a day and this is usually during the evening. My Instagram account is quite varied and I try to vary the content each day. For instance, I might post one picture of my son or my cats, one landscape or architecture shot and one of some flowers or something pretty. That said I don't want to make it formulaic, so I don't follow that slavishly.”
FB: What goes into making the perfect, audience-engaging Instagram post?
EP: “The perfect, audience-engaging Instagram post would be something visually striking, but I think it's best when there is something to write about the picture, too. I see Instagram as 'microblogging' of a sort, but tend to keep my posts quite short on words (no more than a short paragraph and ideally the length of a tweet as I tweet out my posts when I upload to Instagram). Often, I get as much response to my words as my pictures.”
FB: What advice do you have to budding Instagram influencers?
EP: “I would say get social. Don't just put posts up and wait for people to come to you. Make sure you follow people, like and comment on their pictures, and there is a good chance that they'll come back and follow you, or comment or like your posts.”
On March 15, Instagram announced that it would be adding an algorithm to display news feed posts according to what users “care about most,” rather than streaming posts in chronological order. After receiving a negative response from some Instagram influencers and brands, the social network has replied to the uproar.
Instagram news feed changes are on their way.
“We're listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now,” Instagram stated on March 28. “We promise to let you know when changes roll out broadly.”
However, the development of the algorithm hasn’t stopped users from protesting. In fact, a petition has been created on Change.org, titled “Keep Instagram Chronological.” It has a growing list of more than 333,000 supporters, and it encourages users to voice their opposition, assuming Instagram is listening to their feedback.
“After what happened when Facebook switched to algorithm-based feeds, it's certainly not something that small business' will want!” writes Sarah Heard, petition creator. “At the very least, shouldn't the community be able to opt-in, rather than having it mandated that this is how we will now see our feed?”
The algorithm has not been officially recalled, which means that Instagram marketing professionals will need to work a bit harder to ensure that their audience stays engaged. That being said, this is no easy task, but influencer advertising can help.
The Instagram algorithm is making brands rethink the type of content they are putting out -- is it engaging? What makes followers want to click and comment? Through influencer advertising, brands can work with individuals who are always creating content catered to their audiences. This inevitably drives engagement, and makes the investment worth it for brands.
In the end, the algorithm change may not negatively impact brands, assuming they adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. Brands also need to take a hard look at how they pay influencers. Performance-based pay models become more important because it incentivizes influencers to maximize creativity and create quality content their followers love.
To learn how you can team up with influencers to create a winning marketing strategy, contact Fullbottle for more information today!